To illustrate how dominant the Indianapolis Colts were Sunday against the Houston Texans, they scored on six of their first 8 possessions. While for the most part the game was meaningless to the Colts, coach Tony Dungy wasn’t about to repeat a mistake he made a while back: rest starters prematurely. The Colts had a season-high 458 yards of offense, as they routed the Houston Texans 38-15 at Indianapolis.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning led his team on first-half drives of 54, 92, 92 and 26 yards in setting up a short field goal, running back Joseph Addai’s 2-yard touchdown run and 2 TD receptions by Colts tight end Dallas Clark. Those drives made the score 24-7 Indianapolis. But the Colts win wasn’t without a price to pay, however. Indianapolis lost Addai allegedly to shoulder and back injuries. But Colts head coach Tony Dungy disputed that version. In addition, the Colts lost TE Ben Utecht with a shoulder injury, wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez due to a bruised foot and cornerback Tim Jennings to an undisclosed injury.
In addition to the 2 TD receptions, Indianapolis’ Clark set a franchise reception mark for tight ends in a single season, eclipsing a record held by John Mackey. Clark now has 57 receptions and 11 touchdowns, while Mackey has 55 and 9. The Colts’ offense, while outstanding, wasn’t alone in their dominance of the Texans. Their defense stepped it up, as well; safeties Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano and reserve safety Melvin Bullitt intercepted passes thrown by Houston QB Sage Rosenfels. The Colts’ defense allowed Houston to penetrate the Indianapolis 40-yard line once in three quarters of play. Only a late TD pass in the 4th quarter from Rosenfels to WR Andre Johnson would change that statistic.
Manning had a decent game, despite playing only 3 1/2 quarters, going 28-of-35 for 311 yards with 3 touchdowns. RB Kenton Keith led all Colts rushers with 60 yards; Addai and Clifton Dawson, while not gaining good yardage, scored a touchdown apiece. Reggie Wayne led the Colts receivers with 10 receptions for 143 yards and a score, while Clark – as was previously mentioned – had 6 catches for 60 yards and 2 TD’s.
Houston’s Rosenfels had a decent outing, going 22-of-36 for 233 yards; Darius Walker led all Texans rushers with 66 yards on 19 carries. Andre Johnson led all hosuton receivers with 7 receptions for 74 yards and a TD, while Ken Walter caught 4 passes for 69 yards and a score. Indianapolis (13-2) finish their regular season as they remain home to host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday night, while Houston (7-8) hope to end their season at the .500 mark by hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars – also on Sunday.